Unconditional Friendliness

Reiki self-healing heart, pretty Asian womanThis morning I took a yoga class where the instructor offered an optional intention of extending unconditional friendliness, first to ourselves and our bodies, and then outwards towards others. I hopped on board right away, touched by the simplicity and power of this expression. In just two words, he summed up my approach to health and healing.

Let us approach our bodies with friendliness. No matter what. For me this meant backing off quite a bit during class as I was feeling tired and somewhat fragile. Rather than pushing through fatigue or forcing my body to hold poses it wasn’t really up to, I chose friendliness and rested frequently. I had planned to do a vigorous practice as I was feeling stiff and wanted to let go of accumulated tension. My body’s innate wisdom had a different plan for me, and because I was willing to listen, I benefited greatly.

This philosophy is also how I approach bodywork. So often we treat our bodies as the enemy; something to be conquered or beaten into submission, punished or ignored. Thousands of times I’ve seen pain melt away during a session in which I used friendliness as an intention rather than aggression or manipulation. To me it is intuitively obvious that we don’t lessen suffering by hurting one another or ourselves.

This newfound clarity has inspired me to behave differently. I’m decided to make friends with my body; to respect, honor, listen, cherish, and treat her with kindness. I will speak to her lovingly and give her the support she needs to thrive. It’s high time I make unconditional friendliness an internal priority rather than merely an external one. After all, my body will be with me for the rest of my life, we might as well be the best of friends!

 

Blocking Chi

Recently a client asked me if her hair was interfering with her chi flow. We were doing a Reiki/massage combo and she had tied it up, Sumo style, to keep it out of the oil. She was worried that the clump of hair might block the flow of chi (life force energy, same as the “ki” in Reiki) from entering her crown chakra. I assured her that chi is powerful enough to navigate through.

I could almost see the wheels spinning as she processed this information. A few beats later, she asked A Really Big Question. How could our chakras ever get blocked if chi is so powerful? I generally don’t like to converse during a treatment because it keeps the client from sinking into deep relaxation. However, this concept is so important to deep, lasting healing that I was grateful for the opportunity to respond.

Much has been written on this topic. I could go on and on about it for days, but it’s really quite simple. We have free will. We have been given the power to choose our thoughts, and sometimes we choose thoughts that are out of alignment with our True Nature. It’s our thinking that blocks the chi; when we choose new thoughts, loving thoughts, the chi will begin to resume its natural flow.

We were created as sacred beings; innocent, free, peaceful, joyful, loving, and loved. This is our True Nature. Thoughts of fear, worry, jealousy, anger, resentment, guilt, and shame disrupt the flow of life-force energy in and around our bodies. We might think that we’re feeling upset because of unacceptable circumstances, but really we’re upset because our thoughts are causing us to feel separate from our True Nature. The willingness to surrender misaligned thinking is the remedy to restoring chi flow.

She sighed deeply and agreed that this really struck home. Accepting this truth is quite empowering as we then have the opportunity to create change. It’s also a big responsibility as we are no longer able to point fingers and blame other people, events, or situations as the source of our blockages.  To me, it’s just like any other law of nature, such as gravity. It just is; I might as well learn to work with it rather than waste my time and energy struggling against it.

Just Feel It!

I really enjoyed Kate Northrup’s most recent blog about feelings. She describes how her willingness to sit with herself and feel what she was feeling (rather than distracting with busy-ness or numbing with substances) allowed her so-called “funk” to pass quickly. I have been working with this concept over the past few years and have found that once the initial discomfort of experiencing grief or anger wears off, the uneasiness that was lurking seems to evaporate almost immediately. Treating myself with Reiki indeed helps me to both recognize when I am feeling out of balance as well as to relax into whatever is true for me in each moment. This is another reason I so enjoy teaching Reiki classes; giving others the skill to allow their emotions to unfold naturally sets them up for a lifetime of physical/mental/emotional/spiritual well-being. Every step we take to ensure holistic balance in our minds and bodies affects us all.

Check out her insightful and helpful blog if you’re interested in learning more. http://www.katenorthrup.com/on-feeling-what-were-feeling-and-the-inherent-movement-of-emotion/